If you can afford to do it, I say go for it!
For one thing, the 996 supports firmware updates and the 796 does not. Second, the 996 is a more up to date memory scanner where as the 796 still uses the old Bank system. Once you learn to use this new memory arrangement, you will wonder how you ever lived without it! Trust me, you are taking a step in the right direction. I did it so I know what I am talking about. I went from the BCD 785 with the digital card to the 996. Much happier now!
Do you do a fair amount of travelling and/or have an impressive antenna setup? Living in Bethany might not require a digital scanner for everyday listening. But as the previous poster said, if you have the money, why the heck not?